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Triangle Muslims condemn Boston attacks, worry about backlash

Posted April 19, 2013
Updated April 20, 2013

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— Amina Shaikh and her husband, Aatif Masood, were on their way to a Friday prayer service at the Islamic Center of Morrisville at the same time authorities were conducting a massive manhunt in Boston to search for a second suspect in the deadly marathon bombings.

The young couple, who moved to the Triangle from India four years ago, share the same faith as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the two brothers accused of planting the bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 170.

While religion has not been established as a motive in the attacks, Shaikh and Masood worry that the violent acts will cast all Muslims under a cloud of suspicion and expose them to potential backlash. They joined many area Muslims who urged others not to stereotype and to learn more about the world’s second-largest religion before rushing to judgment.

“It’s all about peace and love, as in any religion,” Shaikh said. “Peace and love, that’s it.”

Her husband added: “We're getting a bad image because of someone's wrongdoings. Islam does not teach to hurt anyone. It teaches to be nice with people, good with people.”

Shaikh said that’s the lesson that Muslims are teaching their children.

“We are humans, we treat each other well,” she said.

Several prominent Muslim-American groups released statements Friday condemning the bombings, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest civil liberties group for Muslims, and the Muslim American Public Affairs Council, a statewide inter-faith group based in Raleigh

While Muslims comprise about 1 percent of North Carolina's population, there has been a 30 percent increase in Muslims living in the state in the last 10 years.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, Muslim groups have reached out to educate the community on their religion and create a dialogue with other faiths.

Triangle resident Mohammed Kami believes it's worked.

“Now I think they're more aware of what Islam is and what Muslims do,” he said. “They know there are bad elements in every society, and these are the bad elements of Muslim society.”

Hasnain Ahmad, who moved to the United States from Pakistan in 1969, said his religion as a whole should not be judged by the actions of a few who take a violent interpretation of the faith.

“Let’s say a Christian does something wrong – does that make all America bad?” he said. “We should not make this an Islam thing.”

He also condemned those responsible for the attack.

“They were idiots,” he said. ”How can you kill innocent (people)? A young child was killed. Why?”

16 Comments

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  • Chris Perry Apr 23, 9:25 a.m.

    It's sad that nobody can tell the difference between radical muslims and regular everyday muslims.

  • JohnFLob Apr 22, 7:40 p.m.

    birkie74693 April 22, 2013 11:55 a.m.
    "If you people actually got to KNOW the Muslims in our community, you wouldn't be so clueless and irrational."

    If you Republicans actually got to KNOW the Democrats in our community, you wouldn't be so clueless and irrational; and vice versa. Does this make any sense either?

    Cluelessness and irrationality regarding Islam and its tennents can exist ONLY if you totally ignore its history. Perhaps the religious persecutions we read about in Islamic dominated societies and governments can provide additional clues. Other clues may be found in the demonstrations of comradery between the Sunnis, Shiites, Salafist, and Wahhabist. You might ask the Copts in Egypt, and members of other non-Islamic religions in Syria, Irag, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Indonesia about peace and freedom.

  • JohnFLob Apr 22, 7:15 p.m.

    "Difficult to find in the mainstream media, the day of the Boston Bombing US forces killed 30 innocent civilians at a wedding party and wounded about 90 others, many women and children among them."
    goldenosprey April 22, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    LOOK A SQUIRREL! Do you have a link to this attack that you attempted to imply was based on religious tenents? Who? Why? Where When?

  • fishon Apr 22, 4:12 p.m.

    Difficult to find in the mainstream media, the day of the Boston Bombing US forces killed 30 innocent civilians at a wedding party and wounded about 90 others, many women and children among them.
    goldenosprey

    Link?

  • goldenosprey Apr 22, 12:26 p.m.

    "
    When you commit acts of violence using your religious tenants as part of the reason, you are making about Islam not the people you just killed and maimed." whatelseisnew

    Difficult to find in the mainstream media, the day of the Boston Bombing US forces killed 30 innocent civilians at a wedding party and wounded about 90 others, many women and children among them.

    I'm not saying that act condemns all Americans, just a matter of perspective.

  • birkie74693 Apr 22, 11:58 a.m.

    Jackflash: "Now they do and people commenting here still find reasons to criticize them"

    Jackflash, some of the chin-drooling mud-dwellers around here appear to get entertainment from howling hateful nonsense at others. It's shameful.

  • birkie74693 Apr 22, 11:56 a.m.

    "... commit acts of violence using your religious tenants as part of the reason ..."

    Religious tenants must live in religious apartments. "Tenets" is the word you want. And if you're not smart enough to know that, why should we take your opinions seriously?

  • birkie74693 Apr 22, 11:55 a.m.

    Blaming ALL Muslims for the acts of a tiny minority is as ludicrous as blaming all Baptists for the bizarre acts of that Westboro Baptist Church at funerals; it's as irrational as blaming all Catholics for the acts of a few pedophile priests.

    Oh, I hear you saying, "They's religion HATES us, they SUPPOSE to kill us!" Well, you're WRONG; you don't actually know any Muslims and you're terrified of them. I've worked with hundreds of Muslims in 30 years in higher education, and dozens of them have become dear friends of mine. The vast majority of Muslims are just like their Baptist or Methodist counterparts: decent, kind, hardworking people; loving parents to their children, generous givers to charities, loyal and kindhearted friends and co-workers.

    If you people actually got to KNOW the Muslims in our community, you wouldn't be so clueless and irrational. Those of you who claim to be Christians should think about how Jesus would want you to act toward others.

  • JohnFLob Apr 22, 9:48 a.m.

    Perhaps the best display(s) of "peace and tolerance" is the political and social characteristics of nations controlled and guided by Islamic tenants. What better examples could we ask for than the comradery displayed between the Sunnis, Shites, Salafist, and Wahhabis.

    Perhaps the average person on the street in an Islamic society or the Muslim faith is not predisposed to react violently to events that cause personal discomfort or inconvenience BUT too many Imams and political leaders encourage the violent forms of jihad as the solution.

  • jackflash123 Apr 22, 8:49 a.m.

    After the 9/11, Muslims were criticized for not speaking up and condemning the attacks. Now they do and people commenting here still find reasons to criticize them.

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